Where to meet?

Clarion Congress & Hotel, Cosmos 3C


Jill Robbie, Lecturer in Private Law, University of Glasgow.

Topic: Ownership in a Social and Constitutional Context: Comparing Scotland and Norway


Property law, and ownership in particular, comprises the rules which most directly regulate the use of our natural resources. Property law, from a legal perspective, is often seen as an abstract system of rules which is independent from the social, political, historical and environmental context of a specific country. Deeper consideration, however, and comparison between jurisdictions, reveals that property law reflects the values of a particular country which originate from the priorities of the individual society. These values can be expressed in court decisions, legislation and constitutional provisions.

In this presentation, I will place ownership within its social and constitutional context by comparing the legal position in Scotland and Norway, specifically in relation to the connection between land and water. I argue that the priorities of these two countries are demonstrated in the decisions made regarding land use and ownership when water became an increasingly contested resource. I claim that the history of these two countries has implications for promoting sustainable land use in relation to water in the future. I suggest that understanding the way that property law and ownership functions within a social and constitutional context is crucial for fostering sustainable land use in light of growing global challenges such as continuing environmental degradation, increasing industrialisation and rising inequality.

Go back to the workgroup WG 16 A